No. 4 Florida Gators basketball (17-2, 7-0 SEC) continued its nine-game winning streak while remaining undefeated in league play with a 75-36 obliteration of the South Carolina Gamecocks (12-8, 2-5 SEC) on Wednesday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.
Florida’s 39-point win over South Carolina was the largest margin of victory in the all-time series between to the two programs, while the Gamecocks’ total of 36 points was the fewest it has ever scored as a member of the Southeastern Conference.
The Gators also registered their most dominant SEC victory since Feb. 17, 1993 when they defeated Ole Miss by 47 points in the O’Dome. It was the third-largest SEC win in school history (44 vs. Mississippi State on Jan. 7, 1987).
UF’s winning streak is its longest since the middle of the 2008-09 season when the the team won 10 games in a row. The Gators have also gone undefeated in the month of January (8-0) for the first time since 2007.
Though both teams were slow out of the gate, Florida exploded in the early going and locked down South Carolina defensively. The Gators forced 10 turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the game and jumped ahead 21-4 after redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario scored 10-straight points.
USC wound up netting just three field goals in the first half as UF kept the pressure on and increased its lead to 23 points by the time the halftime buzzer sounded.
Florida began the second half by outscoring South Carolina 22-5 and stretching its impressive lead to 55-15. Senior G Kenny Boynton hit a pair of three-pointers during that stretch that pushed him past Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins and into sixth on the Southeastern Conference’s all-time list (307).
The Gators substituted in their bench players after the lead ballooned past 40 points and held on for the big home victory.
Boynton and Rosario each scored a game-high 15 points in Wednesday’s contest with the former adding a game-high seven assists to his stat line. Junior center Patric Young registered a team-high eight rebounds to go along with eight points.
Freshman G Michael Frazier and junior F Will Yeguete each grabbed seven boards, but Frazier was also dominant on the offensive end with 12 points on efficient 4-of-6 shooting from downtown.
Florida outshot South Carolina from the field (.528-.311) and from downtown (.571-.143) while outrebounding (38-24) the visitors. The Gators dished 18 assists on 28 made baskets, forced 17 turnovers and outscored the Gamecocks off turnovers (22-2) in the paint (28-18), off the bench (21-8) and on second chances (7-6).
UF will remain home for its second-straight contest as it hosts No. 16 Ole Miss on Saturday. The game will air live at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.
Photo Credit: Phil Sandlin/Associated Press